Deputy Minister calls for strict punitive measures against border jumpers

SGGP
On March 27, Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen led the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on a field inspection to Tay Ninh province.

Sr. Lt. Trinh Quoc Giao at Moc Bai border checkpoint said the checkpoint allows entry to 20 Vietnamese citizens each day on average. People entering will have their ID and temperature checked and droplet sample taken, then taken to quarantine following regulations. Plus, cargos can only go out of the country and no foreign freight vehicle is allowed entry.
Exported cargo is exchanged when a freight truck arrives at the zero-milestone marker where a driver from the destination country takes over the vehicle, or the container gets unloaded by a crane.  The switch is done without any body contact between the drivers. Upon its return to Vietnam, the truck will be disinfected and the driver’s protective gears disposed of.
Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said that during the field inspection in Tay Ninh, he saw that the province was being creative in inventing this method of handing over cargos. Epidemic prevention works would definitely benefit if other localities do the same.
At Moc Bai checkpoint, the delegation also visited the K71 collective quarantine area.
According to Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong, Deputy Director of the Tay Ninh province Department of Health, people in quarantine must undergo 3 Covid tests instead of the usual 2.  The province can currently run tests on 250 samples per day, but plans to reach 1,000 samples soon. Dr. Cuong also said the Ministry of Health had assigned 400 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Tay Ninh.
On border entry, Mr. Nguyen Van Cuong said Tay Ninh has a 240 km long border with Cambodia, with 16 border stations but many unchecked walking routes.
Tay Ninh is where HCMC meets Cambodia and other ASEAN countries through the Moc Bai border station. The province plays a huge role in pandemic prevention, especially in quarantine works and preventing illicit entry.
Dr. Cuong added that the province currently has 642 people in medical facilities for collective quarantine.
Lately, there has been a surge of illegal border jumping in Tay Ninh into HCMC. From January 2020 to March 2021, law enforcers have arrested 576 people in 328 cases.
After the reports from Tay Ninh authorities, Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said: “Our borders with neighboring countries are long, and there have been multiple Covid cases in the local community, creating risks of infection. Therefore, we must enforce strict border control to help with epidemic prevention.”
Firstly, he prompted relevant sides to have border patrols coordinate with the police and local authorities to guard the border, especially locations without fences. But, guarded areas might also allow illegal entry into Vietnam if they are not careful.
Secondly, competent agencies should severely punish groups and individuals that shelter border jumpers, and use those cases as a deterrent to similar crimes.
Thirdly, they must raise awareness on the matter so that people would give up any ill-intent and follow quarantine procedures at the border checkpoint.
Fourthly, citizens and community watch groups should be encouraged to report illicit border jumpers that have bypassed local authorities to avoid spreading Covid-19 within communities.

By staff writers - Translated by Thao Nhien

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